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U.S. Citizen Services

The United States government has no higher responsibility than to serve and protect its citizens, including those who live or are traveling abroad. To this end, the American Citizen Services Unit in Costa Rica provides prompt, courteous, and efficient services to United States Citizens and other clients, consistent with U.S. laws and regulations.

American citizens can apply for U.S. passports, document their foreign-born children who qualify as U.S. citizens, notarize documents for execution in the U.S., inquire about social security and other federal benefits, and request help in an emergency.

Whether you are Residing in Costa Rica or here for a week’s vacation, please enroll in our Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) so that we may be better able to assist you in an emergency.


We are pleased to offer an online appointment system for your convenience. In case of an emergency, you can come to the Embassy Monday-Friday from 8:00AM-11:00AM and take a number (The Federal Benefits Unit, Consular Report of Birth Abroad services, and Notary services will not see anyone without an appointment).  We will attend those with appointments first and then call numbers in the order of arrival.  Please complete and print all forms and applications PRIOR to your appointment.

Please visit our PassportCRBA, Notary Services, and Federal Benefits pages for details, instructions, and to make or cancel an appointment. 

The United States Consulate is currently unable to accept credit cards or debit cards until further notice. However, we accept payments in dollars or colones. We apologize for the inconvenience.

For more information on our services, please explore the links to your left. If you cannot find the information you are looking for, you may also send an e-mail inquiry to or call +506-2519-2000 during business hours.

If you are reporting an emergency concerning a U.S. citizen in Costa Rica, please see our emergency contact information.


Embassy business hours are Monday–Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (Note: the Embassy is closed on U.S. and Costa Rican holidays)


Location: At the intersection of Calle 98 Vía 104 in the Pavas Section of San José, Costa Rica. (see the map)

Local Mailing Address: 920-1200 San José, Costa Rica 

U.S. Mailing Address: US Embassy San Jose, DPO AA 34020


For security reasons, Embassy visitors are not permitted to enter with bags or electronic devices such as laptops, cameras, tablet computers, or cell phones.  Please budget time before your appointment for required security checks. 

New exit Tax

  • Costa Rican immigration has announced a new $7 exit tax for land border crossings.  Beginning December 2, 2013, all travelers departing Costa Rica overland will be required to pay a $5 exit tax and a $2 luggage search fee.  Travelers must pay the tax and fee at a Bancredito branch or external collection points (please click on "Emisores autorizados") BEFORE they arrive at the border station.

Smart Traveler App

  • STEP App

    Register with the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program.

    Download the FREE Smart Traveler App!  It’s a useful tool that provides easy access to updated, official country information, travel alerts, travel warnings, maps, U.S. Embassy locations, and more.

Emergency Contact

  • Phonne Sign To report a life or death emergency involving a U.S. citizen in Costa Rica, call [506] 2519-2000, from the U.S.: 011-506-2519-2000

Rip Current Safety

  • Rip Currents: Break The Grip of The Rip!

Tidal information

  • Tidal information

What ACS Cannot Do?

  • What American Citizen Services cannot do:

    Act as your lawyer, translator, interpreter, personal assistant, travel agent, investigator, law enforcement agent or real estate agent; 

    Provide you or your family with physical protection; 

    Arrange release from U.S. military service obligations; 

    Pay your debts or fines, sort out property disputes; 

    or interfere in judicial proceedings;

    Find you employment, residence, or schools; 

    Search for missing luggage; 

    Settle disputes with hotel managers and landlords; 

    Discuss visa cases.